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Dutch-based PHYSEE spin-off FOTONIQ raises funding to make high-tech greenhouses greener  | Silicon Canals



Delft-based FOTONIQ, a provider of greenhouse spray coating PAR+, announced on Monday, February 12, that it has secured an undisclosed investment led by Navus Ventures and Icos Capital. 

Existing investors, including and EG Wernink, also participated in the funding round. The company is backed by experienced Dutch VC firms and Family Offices, such as SHAPE Capital and Timeless Investments. 

The Dutch company will use the funds to provide high-tech greenhouses with the first sustainable horticulture spray coating PAR+.

Willem Kesteloo, CEO & Founder, says, “On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank all our investors for their trust and support. The current fundraising round allows us to scale up both our production capabilities and our market roll-out. This year, we plan to apply PAR+ coating solutions on ≥30 hectares, providing our customers with a product that meets their expectations.” 

Image credits: FOTONIQ

FOTONIQ: Increasing crop yield year-round

Founded by Willem Kesteloo as a spin-off company from PHYSEE, FOTONIQ developed and patented a durable coating (PAR+) that brings year-round diffusivity inside the greenhouse without losing growth light intensity. 

Using this new technology and their knowledge, FOTONIQ increases the performance of high-tech greenhouses by increasing crop yield and reducing energy costs. 

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Lab measurements and client results show that using PAR+ can generate an additional profit of €200k per hectare in greenhouses, claims the company. 

What is PAR+?

PAR+ is a sprayable coating that brings diffusivity inside your greenhouse year-round without losing grow light (PAR). 

Making sunlight diffuse before it enters the greenhouse has several scientifically proven advantages. This approach provides more evenly distributed light, allowing it to reach deeper into the greenhouse and reach the lower parts of the crops. As a result, crop yields are higher. 

Diffusivity also ensures more evenly distributed heat inside the greenhouse, which reduces the peak temperatures of the crops. 

This, in turn, limits the need to open the roof windows to lower the peak temperatures, reducing the need for supplying additional CO2.

PAR+ adds value during all seasons, replacing the need for applying and removing seasonal coatings.

The positive impact of PAR+ can allow for adjusting lighting strategy and decreasing PPF from LEDs, saving on electricity costs.

The investor

Navus Ventures is a venture capital firm, part of the family office linked to Lely (Farming Innovators). The VC invests in high-tech startups and scale-ups, driving the ongoing sustainable transitions in food and energy. 

Eduard Meijer, Managing Director at Navus Ventures B.V., says, “Various crop growing problems can be encountered when operating greenhouses. One of the key problems is how to create and maintain an ideal climate inside the greenhouse, which relies on factors such as the optimisation of lighting and temperature. At Navus, we believe that FOTONIQ has found a straightforward and effective solution that helps to solve this problem.” 

Icos Capital is a collaborative fund, which brings startups and corporations together to accelerate sustainability. Icos Capital has well-established partnerships with leading European corporations in the food (Bühler Group), chemical (Nouryon), and agriculture (Royal Cosun) sectors. 

Peter van Gelderen, Managing Partner at Icos Capital, comments, “FOTONIQ offers an alternative to seasonal coatings or diffuse glass without making any of the concessions typically associated with those strategies. With long-lasting performance, the PAR+ coating can be easily integrated into existing infrastructure for a fraction of the price of diffuse glass. By applying this lower-price solution, growers can generate a bigger harvest and increase their profit with only a limited cost of investment.”

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